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World Peace Update

Psychedelic 12I’ve been hearing the words to the protest song Eve of Destruction in my head a lot lately, and I don’t suppose that is a good thing. My mind likes to take the opening phrase “The Eastern World  — it is exploding” and substitute other places.You know, like Syria, Ferguson Missouri and the Gaza strip. Every day brings a sad new verse.

One theory is that I’m losing it. Another is that is world really does feel like it is exploding. Unfortunately, I’ve just found some evidence to support this second theory. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, out of 165 countries right now only 11 are not involved in some sort of conflict. Eleven. That would be 93% of the world that is at war, one way or another.

Granted the study considers having a fighting presence in foreign conflicts as “being at war” (really ought to count, don’t you think), and it also acknowledges internal conflicts with clear sides and loss of life (i.e. civil war). The most disturbing fact, according to The Independent, is that from World War Two up to 2007, there was an overall growing tendency for less conflict in the world. The trend has now reversed sharply and it continues to go the wrong way. As I said, the whole freaking world, it is exploding.

There is a third reason I can’t get this song out of my head and I know what it is. As I move d4, my fun novel about the future, on to beta readers and my editor, I am letting go emotionally of beautiful Ariel and her wild adventures and turning my heart and mind to the next book, the last one in the collection. It will be about the whole Zeitman family but will feature Lola and her cadre of telepaths as they take on a type of menace that they thought could not exist.

It will all start when Lola finally writes her article Face Painting for World Peace and encounters those who want anything but a world in which people get along well with each other. I’m writing Lola’s article now and it’s got me thinking. The tools for understanding others and developing empathy have never been more available to all. How can we be fighting more wars in more places? Who stands to gain?

And where are these eleven peaceful places? Some may not be high on your list to visit, some may. Those of us who remember The Eve of Destruction being sung by Barry McGuire as a protest song against the Vietnam War will appreciate the irony that the eleven countries currently not at war are Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and  ….. drum roll please ….. Vietnam.

“Eve of Destruction” was written in 1965 by P. F. Sloan. Enjoy Barry McGuire’s recording on YouTube here.

Also please drop by the Facebook page of Psychedelic Adventure and give them a quick like for the great image above.

 

 

 

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in peace, writing

 

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Peace on Earth

Thank you Hippie Peace Freaks

Thank you Hippie Peace Freaks

Talk of love and brotherhood is about to begin in earnest as Christians the world over commemorate a gentle soul born in a manger and famous for uttering such lines as “just as you did for the least of these, you did for me” and “if someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.” These are powerful words with pretty clear meanings.

Yet, many a battle has been started and fought by those who profess to follow these teachings. Plenty of other wars are fought by followers of other gentle faiths, whose prophets and leaders and books of wisdom offer similar, clear admonishments to love one another.

We almost all seem to agree that peace is best, that love is good. Yet …

Thank you That's a Good Sign

Thank you That’s a Good Sign

A July 2011 article in History Today posted by Kathryn Hadley notes that research shows that “between 1870 and 2001, the frequency of wars between states increased steadily by 2% a year on average.”

According to Professors Mark Harrison from the University of Warwick and Nikolaus Wolf from Humboldt University Harrison this increase can be explained in part by the proliferation of borders. In other words, the number of countries has almost quadrupled since 1870, giving us more countries to fight each other and more borders to fight about.

The article also points out that there is no tendency for richer or poorer countries to fight more, but rather that the readiness to engage in war is spread uniformly across the global income distribution even though “increased prosperity and democracy should have lessened the incentives for rulers to go to war.”

Mark Harrison concluded that ‘the very things that should make politicians less likely to want war – productivity growth, democracy, and trading opportunities – have also made war cheaper. We have more wars, not because we want them, but because we can.”

Because we can. How can an entire species profess to love the concept of peace, and yet continue to fight more as time goes on? It looks like we do merely because we have more things to fight over and more things to fight with.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in peace

 

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